Ho Chi Minh City (tours from Phu My), Vi cruises
Still fondly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a continuous whirl of the aroma of fresh noodles, the sight of orange-garbed monks and the buzzing of scooters, all in a French colonial backdrop.
Pronounced “Foo Me”, Phu My is the closest port to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon by the locals. The fastest, safest and simplest way to reach the city is by bus, through one of our shore excursions. The journey takes around an hour and a half, meaning you can dock in the morning and be exploring the legendary Ho Chi Minh City by early afternoon.
Ho Chi Minh City is a dazzling metropolis which moves at a merciless pace, as energetic as Hong Kong and as sleepless as New York. The best way to enjoy the chaos is simply to allow yourself to be swept along with it, and immerse yourself in the city and its culture.
It is a place where contrasts sit easily side by side with neither jostling for prime position; you will find vertigo-inducing skyscrapers like the Bitexo Financial Tower, but also sprawling markets like Ben Tanh snaking through alleys. The everyday heartbeat of the city is set to a soundtrack of a thousand motorbikes and mopeds making short work of the streets.
There is plenty to do and see during your time in Ho Chi Minh City on a Phu My cruise. Why not start by exploring the Jade Emperor Pagoda, built in 1909 for the Supreme Taoist God. It is an incredibly and ornately decorated multi-faith temple, brimming with statues, figures and carvings.
Next, head along to Nha Hong Ngon, where you will find some of Vietnam’s best street food in bustling and atmospheric surroundings. Finally, no visit to Ho Chi Minh City is complete without a visit to The History Museum – which houses a diverse spectrum of artefacts which effectively chronicle the history of vibrant Vietnam.
Discovering a beach paradise at Vung Tau
Phu My is also a great base to access Vung Tau, which is around 45 minutes away. When you feel like some headspace after the busy Ho Chi Minch City, Vung Tau provides some idyllic respite. Surrounded by the ocean on three sides and home to impressive colonial buildings, it is the perfect place to reflect and relax.
Set on a gorgeous, arching peninsula, this bright and vibrant beach town is a world away from the smog and heat of the cities. If you can tear yourself away from the beach, there is plenty more to do and see in Vung Tau. Check out the lighthouse, built in 1910 by the French, which offers a unique and panoramic view out over Vung Tau.
There is also the Worldwide Arms Museum – a surprising and fascinating find on the backstreets of Vung Tau. This is where you will find a vast collection of military uniforms and weaponry from the world over. Even if you are not particularly interested in warfare history, there is plenty to see and appreciate here on your cruise to Phu My.